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Sona Build Guide by Talinsword
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I am not level 30. I have no ranked experience. This guide was originally my own personal reference, containing just the skill and item build. A friend asked that I write more about it and publish.
Your experiences with this build will vary from mine. My opinions are not the end-all, be-all of builds.
This is also my first guide - Constructive comments are appreciated, and I hope to work on the guide to make it better.
That being said, let's continue.
Sona is an excellent support champ that excels in multiple areas. She can harass, heal, slow, and stun - all with a simple cycle of her auras.
This build focuses on a Support-style Sona which will baby-sit your lane partner, building towards boosting your teammates in Team Fights. You should not expect a lot of kills, but your assists will skyrocket. If played correctly, the enemy team will gun for you, and your teammates will hug you like a turret.
- Great Survivability: No one expects a beefy support. Between 170 armor, 105 MR, and your heals, you will be tough to take down.
- Strong Laning Phase: You can heavily harass your enemies with Power Chord, making sure that they pay for coming close to you. Your mana regen will keep you in lane after you get your first two items.
- Simple Gold: Philosopher's Stone and Kage's Lucky Pick means 1 gold/second. You won't have to last hit creeps to fund your items, which gives your lane partner the ability to take all the creep kills, and lets you harass freely.
- Heavy Reliance on Team: This is a con for any character, but especially for supports. You can not carry bad players. You are fully reliant on your team in fights. If you're by yourself, you're doing it wrong.
- Expensive Build: Although the Philosopher's Stone and Kage's Lucky Pick do counter-act this, your build is expensive. Assists will cover a lot of that cost - and you will get a lot of assists.
- Easily Blamed: Let's face it. People blame other people for FUBAR moments. As a support, you're a prime target. People will think that because they have a healer with them, they're suddenly god - Completely forgetting the fact that 1) You have a 6 sec CD, 2) You need mana.
Many people will go with the Offense tree for Archmage's Savvy , Sorcery, and Archaic Knowledge , however I feel those aren't required, nor beneficial, to a heavy support character.
0.6 AP per summoner level isn't even 18 AP at full level.
3% CDR seems perfect, but your item build brings you to 40% already.
15% MRP may be beneficial, but you shouldn't be focusing on attacking. I don't care for percentage based Penetration either.
So, instead, I go for more survivability. 6 Armor and 6 MR add just a little extra survivability to your Laning Phase. Strength of Spirit may not seem like much, but it helps you not have to recall as often.
**I reiterate - Your opinion may vary. Find what works for you**
I prefer Good Hands because you will be focused, and those 6 seconds will make a difference.
I take Greed because you shouldn't be last-hitting, and every gold counts.
Everything else is basic for a support. Summoner Spells talents, CDR, EXP, MP5 - The works.
For the Good Hands Vs. Perseverence debate. He's a little abrupt about it, but it's solid information.
In order of preference-
Greater Quintessence of Health - Just that little boost in HP to help you survive an early gank. I prefer these over anything else.
Greater Quintessence of Gold - If you feel you're skillful enough to make do with lower health, these will help you get into your build faster. You'll have 2.8 gold / second.
Greater Glyph of Ability Power - You do like AP - AP boosts everything you do. Having these gives you just a bit more healing power, just a bit more harassing power.
- Not much to be said about the others, I've yet to find any that I'd replace these with. -
Greater Seal of Replenishment - If you hadn't noticed, I put a lot of emphasis on your Laning Phase This is make or break for a lot of games - the worst that could happen is that you need to Recall away constantly for mana. These keep you in the game.
- Same as Glyphs, I just can't bring myself to replace these. They are that useful -
Greater Mark of Replenishment - I hate leaving my lane partner. Although these are secondary, I find that the extra MP5 gives me more options with my mana. I like that.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - If you do want to focus on harassing and damaging, these will make your offense game very painful for your enemies. A viable option for early damage.
Flash - My spell of choice. A quick wall jump will save your life. A timely flash can kill an fleeing enemy. It is versatile, it is useful, it is good.
Ghost - Is viable if you prefer it. I find that Ghost is better as an escape tool, but doesn't have quite the versatility that Flash has. Ghost is also very linear in it's escape, where-as Flash can be used to jump over a wall, negating any further attacks.
Clarity - This may not seem like a Team Benefit spell right away, however if you look closer, you'll notice that it is. Not only will you fuel your own spells, but you'll fuel the spells of your teammates. This will guarantee that you never have to leave your lane and will keep your team's momentum after a Team Fight.
Clairvoyance - A very handy spell, and one that every team should use. Although normally Clair duty falls to the support, I feel that fueling my heals and harassment is more beneficial. Also, I feel that one of your Carries will do better with a scouting mechanism, as they tend to be the ones who ask for Clairvoyance to be used.
Teleport - This one is actually quite handy, you will find yourself on your fountain at some point, and this will get you back to where you need to be.
Plausible, but no
Fortify - You don't see this much, but it can break apart an enemy rush like nothing else. I wouldn't suggest giving up Clarity or Flash for it, but it has it's uses. Though a team with 5 Fortifies might be a decent defense.
Exhaust - A Slow and a Damage Debuff. This can be handy in moments where you need to save someone, but you're better off taking one of the above mentioned spells.
Cleanse - Cleanse will remove any debuff from you, which is handy. Expect that it won't remove you from the crowd of enemies that have surrounded you. You'll die, you just won't be stunned when you do.
Revive - This can be handy for after you've been focused in a Team Fight. However, by the time you get there, the fight should be over, one way or another.
Ignite - I personally find that Ignite is the summoner spell of choice for people who can't finish off a Last Hit. (Then again, Clarity is for people who can't manage their mana} Regardless of my personal opinion, you shouldn't be taking kills, you shouldn't be taking Ignite.
Smite - You are not a jungler. You are not last-hitting. You do not take Smite.
Heal - You already do this better, and Clarity will allow you to do it multiple times.
Rally - Have you ever seen someone use this? 'Cause I haven't.
Priority: > > >
Power Chord: Your Passive is a wonderful little tool that changes depending on what skill you have active. Every 3 spells, your next auto-attack will deal bonus damage based on your level and proc a special effect (details below). This is your main harassing tool.
Hymn of Valor: Your damage ability, this will launch two streams of deadly blue light at the two closest enemies. Champions are prioritized over minions. With a decent range, smart targeting, and a short delay, this is one of the best harassing tools I've come across. You walk up to a turret that is targeting your minions, cast this spell, and be back out before it hits the enemy champion - thereby negating the turret hit on you.
Passive - all allies in range gain AD and AP. Handy for letting your partner Last Hit.
Power Chord - Having Hymn up for your Power Chord causes it to deal double damage. At level 2, this is 64 bonus damage, In an Auto-Attack - A strong deterrent to enemies.
Aria of Perseverance: Your Healing ability, this will heal you and an ally. The ally is chosen based on lowest Percentage HP in range. A decent range will allow you to stay in the back of team fights, while smart targeting allows you to focus on other things while you heal.
Passive - Bonus AR and MR. Useful for mitigating the initial burst of damage in a fight.
Power Chord - Having Aria for your Power Chord debuffs the damage of the enemy hits. 20% less damage for 4 seconds. I prefer to start teamfights with this Chord, as a 20% reduction can help alleviate the initial burst of damage.
Song of Celerity: Your buff spell, this will give a flat movement speed buff to all allies in range. Handy for getting around the map, fleeing, or chasing down a weakened opponent.
Passive - A percentage based movement speed buff. This should be up when you're traveling.
Power Chord - Having Song for your Power Chord slows the enemy hit by 25%. This can be just enough to let your team catch up to a weakened enemy, or escape from a fight gone bad.
Crescendo: Your ultimate, and what an ultimate it is! A wide frontal line that will cause all enemies hit by it to dance for 1.5 seconds. You should use this at the beginning of every Team Fight! The more enemies hit, the better. Although 1.5 seconds may not seem long, that is enough time for your team to burst down a champion - or, if they don't finish them off completely, make the whole team regret initiating.
Your ultimate will also save the lives of your teammates. 1.5 seconds is long enough for someone to make an escape. I love tossing this out the moment I see a gank coming in as it will completely stall the enemies momentum.
**OF SPECIAL IMPORTANCE**
Using Aria of Perseverance or Song of Celerity will launch a stream of light towards affected allies. This stream is visible to enemy players. If allies are hiding in the bushes, enemies will be able to see that someone was affected by the stream of light. It doesn't fully reveal them, but they'll know someone's there. Unless absolutely necessary, do not cast them when someone is hiding!
Were I to take Hymn of Valor at level 1, we may have gotten a kill, but we'd be damaged. This would hinder my harassment game until at least level 2. And if we don't get the kill, then it was a worthless endeavor.
You will not notice that much of a difference between taking your heal first over your damage. You can still harass effectively with Power Chord, while also negating any initial damage your opponents try to deal.
If you believe you're going up against an aggressive lane, take a Health Potion or 2.
sight ward is also beneficial to prevent ganks.
You will want mana during the early game. You will be using your spells constantly to heal and harass, and you need constant fuel.
During Lane Phase
Philosopher's StoneKage's Lucky Pick
I used to prioritize Tear of the Goddess and Fiendish Codex, but I've recently switched to these and saw an immediate boost in my game. Gold/5 lets you ignore last-hitting, which lets your partner farm all the gold - Which benefits your team. Hp5 and Mp5 lets you stay in lane indefinitely. If you get an early kill, you can get your first one at the 4:00 mark, other wise, expect it by around 6:00. Your second one should be purchased around 11:00.
Quote: LoL Wiki
"This item will pay for itself in 26 minutes and 40 seconds. If you sell it, it takes 13 minutes and 20 seconds. If you upgrade it to Eleisa's Miracle and then sell it, it takes only 12 minutes."
This means that you can sell your Stone at 18:00 with no loss. Everything past that is extra gold in your pocket. Unless you're truly and utterly fed, you'll have space to hold on to the Stone. I'll end most games still with it.
Philosopher's StoneKage's Lucky Pick
This is where you'll start to focus on survivability, lowering your cooldowns, and buffing your team. Boots of Speed are an obvious addition. Chain Vest will build into Glacial Shroud and then Frozen Heart - which will be your next items to purchase.
Frozen Heart is of special importance, as it performs 3 duties for Sona:
1 - Cooldown reduction: Having a 4 second heal is beneficial. Even if it doesn't have the power as some other Champions, it's constant and will reliably hit the most wounded ally.
2 - Survivability: 99 Armor is nothing to scoff at, and every AD champion will curse your name.
3 - Preventative Healing: This is a tricky concept to grasp for some. There's two types of healing - Preventative and Reactive. Preventative are shields and the such which lessens incoming damage. Reactive are healing spells which removes damage already taken. Preventative is good when you know exactly who is going to get hit, but suffers if you mistake your target. Reactive is good because you don't have to guess who's going to take the damage, but suffers because you have to wait until the damage is done (there's no healing a dead champion)
Frozen Heart is an immediate, smart preventative healing tool. By reducing the attack speed of all enemies by 20%, you are technically preventing 20% of the damage they deal. Of course, this doesn't help as much for champions that don't rely on Auto-attacks, but you will see an immediate boost in your teams survival during fights.
Philosopher's StoneKage's Lucky Pick
Fiendish Codex will bring you to 36% CDR, and from here you have 2 choices:
Morello's Evil Tome or Deathfire Grasp
Morello's Evil Tome will bring you 6% past the 40% CDR cap, but will give you more AP and Mp5.
Deathfire Grasp will bring you 1% past the cap, and will give you an ability that deals 30% of an enemies current health every 60 seconds. Kage's Pick will build into this.
Morello's is the lazy-man's method - Nothing extra to track, solid bonuses all around. Deathfire will ultimately give you more bang for your buck, but requires that you place yourself in the middle of a fight. More risk, for more reward - taking 30% off a champion's life at the beginning of a team fight is a scary prospect that will make many players stall.
I prefer Deathfire myself.
Tear of the Goddess will build into Archangel's Staff. A very handy item to maximize your mana.
Remember that you can (and should) sell the Philosopher's Stone at some point.
From here, it's hard to say. No item build is set in stone. So I'll give you the options.
Banshee's Veil - Lots of CC on the enemy team? Negate the first one!
Rabadon's Deathcap - Are you steam-rolling them, and going all Scrooge McDuck with your gold? More AP for more fun!
Lich Bane - No one suspects a beefy support. We're supposed to be squishy. No one suspects a cannon support. You are constantly cycling your auras with a 2 second delay, and with Lich bane, you are constantly putting out a lot of damage - with a 2 second cooldown. Coincidence? Having a Lichbane proc with a Hymn of Valor Power Chord is a brutal combination which can bring a squishy champion to their knees.
Will of the Ancients - More Auras for your team. Always a plus.
Zhonya's Hourglass - If you find yourself constantly focused, this item will give you 2 seconds of life while your team beats on the enemies.
Shurelya's Reverie - The move speed is very handy for chasing or escaping. Plus, it's built from your philosopher's stone.
Of Special Note
Mejai's Soulstealer - This is a very handy item for the AP Sona that doesn't die. However, I feel like whenever a person picks this up, they immediately become terrified of the possibility of dieing. I'm the sort of support that will sacrifice myself so my carry can live. To me, this is a "Win More" item - If you're losing, it won't help at all. If you're winning, you'll only win more.
Randuin's Omen - I've played around with this a bit, and I've found it... Fun. You shouldn't be a tank, but it's enjoyable going up against AD champions with 244 armor, constant slows, and a 4 second heal. They don't like it when squishies aren't squishy.
These three items are perhaps the most important items a team can get in League of Legends. They give your team Map Control and Map Control is key to winning games.
I've read This Guide Here to better understand it - and I suggest you do as well.
The quick and dirty explanation -
Warding the map makes it almost impossible for the enemy team to sneak around and gank your team. Smart warding will allow you to know where your opponents are at all times.
Vision Wards and Oracle's Elixirs allow you to negate Stealth champions from one of their biggest strengths - Surprise.
You are a prime candidate for Ward duty and Oracle's. If you do take Oracle's, be sure not to die, as 400gp is an expensive cost.
Many players will expect the Support to ward. However, it is up to the team as a whole to gain Map Control. If someone asks you to buy wards, do so - But ask them to buy one as well. It's only 75 gold, and it can make the difference between a kill and a death.
**At the start of the game, you should cast 3 spells while on your Fountain. You'll start with Power Chord ready to go and full mana.**
You should always have a lane partner - Preferably a ranged carry that can harass decently. I prefer Bot because Top tends to be Solo if your team has a Jungler. Your job in Lane is to Babysit your partner. Ultimately, you should have 0 creep kills, where-as your partner should have tons.
The best way to insure that your partner is safe is to harass the enemy. You should fuel Power Chord with Hymn of Valor, then deter the enemy from getting anywhere close to your partner. Zone them away from the minions and you not only protect your partner, but deny the enemy exp. You have the tools to harass, protect, and escape. Get an early lead in damage, while negating their damage, and you'll start to unnerve them. This is key.
I prefer to patrol the bushes slightly ahead of the minion wave. I'll let my opponents know I'm there, and with the constant punishment from Hymn of Valor and Power Chord, they won't want to come anywhere close to those bushes.
This does 2 things - 1: Half of my enemies lane is restricted. 2: If my teammates come to gank, they're closer to the enemies than they would otherwise be.
Remember - Those are your bushes! They may not be the prettiest bushes - But they are yours!
Your partner will want to let your minion wave die - preferably when the enemy is zoned out. Then he wants to clear the wave, letting things start new in the middle. Don't try to push, you'll only restrict your zoning potential.
Of course, smart play is required. Don't over extend, you aren't unkillable. In fact, you're still squishy. Don't let your mana run out unless you've got a Clarity coming in 30 seconds or so. If you're at low health, fall back to the safe edge of the bushes and heal up.
Unless you got an early kill/assist, you'll be recalling around 6:00 to pick up your Philosopher's Stone - Let your partner know, and get back as soon as possible.
Once you've hit level 6, tell your partner to let up and draw the minion wave back. Let the opponents out and call for a gank. When everything is set, initiate with a Crescendo and watch your enemies become even more frightened of the squishy support.
This phase of the game will set the tone for the rest of the game. If you've dominated your lane, the enemy team will be shaken and worse off. Play a mental game, don't let off on the pressure, and make them pay for every inch they try to take.
Things change drastically in team fights. If you've unnerved your lane opponents sufficiently (and maybe racked up a few kills), you're going to be their prime target. They will hate your pokes. They will hate your heals. They will hate you. They will also be weaker then you. You've been zoning them out of experience, and although normally, this would mean less gold for you from a lack of last-hits, you're Philosopher Stone and Kage's Lucky Pick negate that drawback. You should also have a Frozen Heart by this point, so you can survive being focused for a second or two - So long as your team realizes that it's happening and punishes the players for doing it. As you draw this "mental aggro", your team will be getting easy kills. Which only boosts your team's lead.
Teamfights should start with you towards the back and Aria of Perseverance ready for Power Chord. From there, you should constantly cycle your auras every time they're up.
W -> E -> Q -> W -> E -> Q
This lets you throw an Auto-attack with a double Power Chord to help with damage.
When the opportunity arises, use Crescendo to halt the enemy team's momentum. This may be at the very beginning of the fight.
If you're winning the fight, Song of Celerity will help your team chase the enemy.
If you're losing the fight, Song of Celerity will help your team escape.
You should be one of the last to flee. Make sure everyone gets hit by the move speed buff, Throw out your Crescendo if you haven't, and cover your teammate's escape. If at all possible, make yourself seem like the easier target and draw the enemies away. Ultimately, you don't want to die - but if someone has to, you're a good choice. Your teammates can continue to farm while alive, while you continue to gain gold from your GP10.
I would like to reiterate that I am not level 30 in LoL yet, and have not played in Ranked games. This build may very well change as I continue to play. Remember, that this is a guide - if it works for you, that is wonderful. If you prefer one thing over another, then by all means use it.
Comments and Criticism are welcome - I do hope to improve not only my gameplay, but this guide as well.